Michael Jackson accusers' film 'Leaving Neverland' gets standing ovation, estate rebuke

Michael Jackson documentary accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck A brief history of their abuse claims

Michael Jackson documentary accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck A brief history of their abuse claims

Leaving Neverland, which aired at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday amid threats of protests from angry fans of the singer, contains the testimonies of Wade Robson and James Safechuck who claim they were molested by the singer.

Hours after Leaving Neverland, the documentary about Michael Jackson's alleged sexual abuse of underage boys, left the audience shell-shocked at its Sundance premiere, the Jackson estate released a statement slamming the HBO-bound film.

Now, Taj, son of Tito, is taking matters into his own hands... or, more accurately, the hands of those who will help finance his journey to "tell the true side" of the story. The film interviews family members, including the boys' mothers, wives and Robson's brother and sister.

Safechuck also says Jackson told him in advance that following the 1993 settlement he made in a case involving a 13-year-old he would be seen with women in public, but that the relationships would be meaningless.

"Leaving Neverland" isn't a documentary, it is the kind of tabloid character assassination Michael Jackson endured in life, and now in death.

A lot has been said about the King of Pop's alleged abuse, for which he was acquitted in June 2015, a trial where both Robson and Safechuck testified that Michael never did anything with them that was inappropriate. According to Robson, Jackson kissed and performed oral sex on him the first time they were alone overnight, telling the boy, "This is how we show our love". It accused the filmmakers of relying too heavily on the stories of the two men and ignoring the accounts of others who have said Jackson never harmed children. Jackson is charged in a 10-count indictment with molesting a boy, plying him with liquor and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.

An AP photo taken Friday shows Jackson fans Brenda Jenkyns and Catherine Van Tighem of Calgary, Alberta among a handful who stood outside the premiere with signs supporting Jackson that read "Seek Truth - Think for Yourself" and "Lies Run Sprints But the Truth Runs Marathons", cited as a Jackson quote.

Rescuers find body of Spanish toddler trapped in well
A post-mortem was carried out on Saturday, the results of which will be communicated to the judge investigating the case. After 13 days of rescue efforts, the body of the toddler was finally found in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Despite the disturbing the details of the documentary, it was said to have received a standing ovation at the end.

The four-hour film Leaving Neverland previews under unprecedented levels of security at the Sundance Film Festival.

Safechuck made similar statements to investigators as a boy.

USA popstar Michael Jackson addresses a press conference at the O2 arena in London in 2009 [Getty Images]What is Leaving Neverland about?

Leaving Neverland's title references the Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County, California, where Jackson lived from 1988 to 2003.

Robson, speaking at a post-screening Q&A in Park City, said, "I understand why it's so hard for [fans] to believe it. We can only accept and understand something when we're ready".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.